33 years old in Korean age, 31 years old. At a belated age, his first ‘Taegeuk mark’ dream seemed to come true. However, due to opposition from the club, Choi Ji-man (Pittsburgh Pirates)’s joining the national team was canceled. Will Choi Ji-man have another chance?
On the 6th, KBO said, “SSG Landers Choi Ji-hoon will join the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team.” 토토사이트
After graduating from Incheon Dongsan High School, Choi Ji-man, who went straight to the United States without going through the KBO league, has never worn the Taegeuk mark. If there is only one dream of Choi Ji-man, who has been playing for 6 seasons in the major leagues, it was to wear a national team uniform. In the meantime, Choi Ji-man has been actively revealing his intention to join the national team.
Choi Ji-man met with reporters at the ‘2022 Hope Plus Charity Baseball Tournament’ last year and said, “Rehabilitation takes 3 to 4 months. But the recovery is good.” He said, “I want to go to the WBC. I am also appealing to the team. There is hunger for not being able to wear the Taegeuk mark.”
But his wish didn’t come true. The reason is injury. After the 2022 season, Choi Ji-man underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment in his right elbow. The KBO said, “Pittsburgh expressed its intention to oppose WBC participation due to Choi Ji-man’s surgical history.
Choi Ji-man, who missed the Taegeuk mark for the first time in his life, could not hide his regret. In his statement, he said, “All athletes, regardless of the sport, must have dreamed of running as a representative of the country with a national flag on their chest.” Maybe it’s because he was so big. The disappointment and frustration of the decision to make it impossible is very great.”
Of course, Pittsburgh’s position is not incomprehensible. Pittsburgh suffered from the absence of a first baseman last year, and through a trade, they embraced Choi Ji-man. Although the 3-4 month rehabilitation period is not a hindrance to preparing for the opening game in the major leagues, he must have considered the risks of raising the pace for the WBC unreasonably.
Choi Ji-man also understood his team’s position, but continued to have mixed feelings. He said, “I had elbow surgery, which the team is concerned about, but I returned to the United States and was going through the rehabilitation process well, and recently there was no problem enough to proceed with live betting.” I was improving my physical condition according to the schedule, so the disappointment is so great and it hurts.”
Next, Choi Ji-man said, “Unlike my will, my dream of joining the national team collapsed due to the influence of the surrounding environment, but if given another chance next time, I want to achieve my dream of becoming a national team member. If you do, I think there will be an opportunity to contribute to the country in a better way.”
However, Choi Ji-man’s dream of becoming a member of the national team may not come true forever. The Asian Games have age restrictions, and in the case of the Olympics, baseball was excluded from the official event. In the case of the Premier 12, it is extremely rare for major leaguers to participate. Then, the next WBC is the tournament that only Choi can aim for.
Currently, Choi Ji-man is 33 years old in Korean age and 31 years old. He will be 32 years old when he arrives this coming May. The next WBC, usually held every 3-4 years, is in 2026-2027. At this time, Choi Ji-man entered his late 30s. It is true that in reality it is not easy. There is only one variable. Even when Choi Ji-man enters his mid- to late 30s, he should be showing the same or even better performance now. Will Choi Ji-man’s dream come true?